The Oh! Zone

Far-out findings from science

Ancient Blood Brothers

Like the “sloth moth,” which lives only in the fur of the ambling two-toed and three-toed mammals, the “bat fly” exists only in the fur of the winged, cave-dwelling mammals. Now scientists know that the flea-like, blood-sucking fly has been hanging around with bats for at least 20 million years. That’s because an unfortunate bat fly became entombed in a sticky glob of tree sap eons ago and has been there ever since, preserved in the solidified amber. Bat flies coevolved with bats, explains one of the world’s leading amber experts, OSU zoologist George Poinar Jr., who discovered the fossilized fly in the semi-precious stone from the Dominican Republic.

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